A man who fired on police was killed and a police dog was shot in the face Tuesday evening following an officer-involved shooting in Citrus Heights, police said.
Eastbound lanes of Greenback Lane outside the Sunrise Mall were expected to be closed overnight as investigators continued working at the scene of the shooting, where the armed man was killed.
A Citrus Heights officer, the K-9’s handler, also was shot through the slack in his uniform but was not injured, said police spokesman Lt. Chad Morris.
A bystander’s car windshield was also struck by gunfire, Morris said, and the woman in that vehicle was taken to a hospital as a precaution but was not injured.
Citrus Heights Police Chief Ronald Lawrence said Tuesday night it was “a very scary event, a very dangerous event.”
“This highlights and underscores the dangers that police officers face every day,” Lawrence said.
Morris said the shooting occurred just after 7:30 p.m. in the 8000 block of Greenback Lane near Arcadia Drive after police responded to a call for “shots heard” in the parking lot of the Macy’s at Sunrise Mall around 7:30 p.m.
When officers arrived, the shooter – described as white male adult – began “immediately” firing on them, Morris said, striking the officer through the shirt and the K-9 officer in the face.
Officers returned fire on the suspect and killed him, Morris said.
It was unclear how many officers were involved in the incident and how many shots were fired by police or the suspect. Witnesses said that the man was killed on the periphery of Sunrise Mall in front of the Brake Masters auto shop along Greenback Lane, next door to a Red Robin restaurant. One witness said on social media that he had heard 12 shots in the incident.
The dog was taken to a veterinary hospital, and its condition was not disclosed; the officer, who was taken to a hospital, was not injured. Morris said the bullet had gone through the officer’s shirt “in the slack area of his uniform” but did not strike his body or protective vest.
“(The officer) was checked out at the hospital later and is going to be OK – he was not injured,” Lawrence, the department’s leader, said. “Unfortunately, the officer’s dog ... is currently under medical care. I hope that you’ll all pray with me that the dog will be OK.”